Friday, March 11, 2011

North Platte Community College Basketball: Men’s Team-Season in Review; Lady Knights advance to Nationals

By Evan Troxel (Associate Editor of Sports Content)
To begin with, the North Platte Community College Men’s Basketball team finished the regular season with a record of fourteen wins and fourteen losses.  In the Region IX Tournament East Sub-Region, North Platte scored 58 Points but Western Wyoming Community College scored 74 Points thus ending the Knights season with an overall record of fourteen wins and fifteen losses.  Now I will review the North Platte Knights season. 
The Knights at home this season finished with a record of eight wins and four losses and away this season finished with a record of six wins and eleven losses.  North Platte Community College Knights ended the 2010-2011 season having two wins and one loss when the game had been sent into overtime.    The Knights finished with five wins and zero losses when they scored Ninety-Nine points or more in all their games this season.
North Platte won their first six games of the season and then they lost three straight before winning again on 99-96 in Overtime over Northeastern Junior College (Sterling, Colorado).  After that game and with seven wins and three losses, the Knights went on a four-game losing skid before winning two more.  North Platte then played overtime with Northeastern Junior College again, and this time they lossed 87-81.
The Knights then won against McCook Community College and then lost three straight for a record of ten wins and eleven losses.  North Platte then went on a three game winning streak by beating Quakerdale Prep 66-58, Southeast Community College 66-59, and Central Community College-Columbus 95-61.  The Knights then lossed two more to even up their record at thirteen wins and thirteen losses.
North Platte then clinched their final victory of the season by a score of 84-71 over Central Community College-Columbus for a record of 14-13.  The Knights then lost to Western Nebraska Community College (WNCC) 79-74.  What was very interesting about that game was the WNCC Men’s team was here (North Platte) at 12 p.m. to practice before the game when it didn’t start until 7:30p.m.  The bigger twist was that there were no games that day at NPCC before that. 
I think it’s funny that WNCC only won by five points.  It’s great when North Platte has someone who is willing, can shoot, and make three-pointers when a team needs them.  That person would be Nick Tomsick who scored 24 points in that game and most of those points were a result of making shots from beyond the arc. 
Sometimes I don’t know why teams waste game time looking for good looks to score.  I wish teams would just shoot the basketball from beyond the three-point line right after they retain possession and get in close range of the three-point line.  In my opinion, this is especially true when your team is constantly struggling to stay close to your opponent’s score and is losing the game (most of, if not all, the time).  So that concluded the North Platte Knights regular season with fourteen wins and fourteen losses.
The Men’s team has many reasons to look forward to a better season next season with only Karol Gruszecki being the lone sophomore on the team this season.  In fact, I saw the players having a little fun by scrimmaging in the gym and getting ready for next season.  Now, let’s talk about the Lady Knights.
The North Platte Community College Lady Knights basketball team completed the regular season with a record of 16-11.  Since then, they won the Region IX Championship Game 77-69 over Southeast Community College.  This was only the second time the Lady Knights have won the Region IX Championship.  The other time was in the 2008-2009 Season.
After the Region IX Championship Game, North Platte for the first time ever won a District Playoff Game by traveling to Bottineau, North Dakota and defeating Dakota College 69-68 to advance to the NJCAA Division 2 National Tournament.
So now let’s review the Lady Knights entire season.  North Platte started the season off by winning three straight games and then they ended up losing three straight games.  Then, the Lady Knights won a game and then lost a game and did that four straight times.  So after fourteen games North Platte had a record of 7 wins and 7 losses.
Next, the Lady Knights won two straight, lost one game, won another game, and lost yet another game.  At this point North Platte had a record of 10 Wins and 9 Losses.  The Lady Knights then started a five game winning streak which is their best streak they’ve had all season long (winning or losing), so far.  After that, North Platte lost two more games for a record of 15 Wins and 11 Losses.  Currently, the Lady Knights are on a three-game winning streak.
North Platte has a home record this season of 8 Wins and 3 Losses and a road record of 10 Wins and 8 Losses.  The Lady Knights begin National Tournament play Tuesday, March 15, 2011 in which they will play Parkland College in East Peoria, Illinois at 6 p.m. Central Time.  I remember watching online from last year the NPCC Men’s team playing at the National Tournament at  I bet anyone could watch the Ladies play at the National Tournament online at as well.  All I’m going to say is, “Good Luck” to the Lady Knights, “Do Your Best” all the time no matter what the circumstances are, and “Be Prepared.”
Here is the Roster for the Lady Knights: #10 Destini Lewis, #12 Ann Kuroki, #14 Ivy Kuroki, #20 Mercedes Martin, #22 Emily Sughroue, #24 Anna Woodhead, #30 Renee Otero, #32 Heather Dickson, #40 Travonsha Herbert, #42 Ali Hinrichsen, #44 Jori Fleming, #50 Kally McClintic, #52 Maggie Carson, and #54 Kellie Smith.  The head coach is Richard Thurin, the assistant coach is Bridget Haneborg, and the student assistant is Gretta Anderson.

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